Encouraging Amazon seller feedback in international markets
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Liz Fickenscher, Business Development Lead for eComEngine.
Feedback is essential to running a successful Amazon business. In a completely virtual shopping ecosystem, feedback is one of the few customer satisfaction indicators available to merchants. It’s therefore no wonder why Amazon.com, Inc. places such a heavy emphasis on seller feedback when determining Buy Box share.
So, how can you leverage feedback to win more Buy Boxes? Expansion into international markets is one possible avenue. In this article, we’ll share a few tips to consider when requesting feedback on international orders.
Study the Culture & Language
Amazon merchants in good standing have an open invitation to expand their operations to international marketplaces. As Amazon points out here, “Whether you are new to international business or a seasoned exporter, Amazon provides the tools and support you need to grow internationally while taking much of the complexity, cost, and effort out of selling internationally.” By reaching millions of new customers on nearly a dozen different marketplaces, sellers can boost revenue for the products they already sell. Of course, this invitation comes with its share of caveats. Namely, Amazon is clear to point out the many cultural, legal and tax implications of global expansion.
As international orders begin to roll in, smart merchants realize the opportunity to build new reputations with offshore buyers. However, as with anything related to international commerce, feedback solicitation should be done in a measured, strategic way. Keep in mind that positive feedback is the byproduct of a highly satisfied customer. What appeals to a buyer in one country may not appeal to customers in another.
For example, customers in the United States are often accustomed to a very direct form of communication. As such, many of eComEngine’s FeedbackFive customers craft their own messages, aimed at appealing to this cultural norm. Using personalized questions in the subject line and clear calls-to-action in the body are just a few of the tactics we’ve seen merchants take. However, as has been well-documented in academic research, Eastern cultures often prefer a less direct form of communication. Therefore, blindly sending the same emails to Japanese or Chinese customers may result in underwhelming success.
Before investing in an international feedback strategy, you must first take time to learn the culture. This will not only aide feedback management, but it will also help you better position the products you sell.
Understand & Follow the Rules for Solicitation
At a high level, Amazon encourages its third-party sellers to solicit customer feedback. As pointed out here, “You may request feedback from a buyer, however you may not pay or offer any incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback.” There are generally two methods for doing so: manual and automated. Manual solicitation typically involves logging in to your Seller Central account, clicking on each order and sending individual messages. Automated feedback management involves the use of a tool, such as our FeedbackFive service, and integrates to your seller account via the Amazon Marketplace Web service (Amazon MWS). For merchants selling on a unified account across multiple marketplaces and languages, automation makes it easy to send targeted messages by using different emails based on the marketplace. Either way, customers have 90 days to leave feedback, so don’t delay when asking for it.
When it comes to solicitation on international marketplaces, you may find that each country-specific domain has its own unique flavor. Although the ground rules are mostly the same to your home marketplace, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the feedback documentation for each country. Here’s what Amazon says about feedback in the following countries:
- United Kingdom (& UK Seller FAQs)
- Germany (& German Seller FAQs)
It’s also important to note that your feedback score on one marketplace does not translate to other marketplaces. As Amazon points out on various help pages, “Feedback is only displayed on the website where the feedback was left. For example, if you primarily sell in Germany, you can’t use your German feedback as part of your seller reputation in the USA or UK.” Therefore, the importance of proactively building your feedback score on each marketplace cannot be understated.
Automate Your International Feedback Engine
If you’re ready to expand operations to international waters, consider trying FeedbackFive (click here for a 14-day trial). Our professionally translated email templates and domain-specific campaign rules will help you avoid embarrassment with customers, while automating many of the time-demanding solicitation tasks.
Best wishes as you take your operations global!
Liz Fickenscher, eComEngine
As the Business Development Lead for eComEngine, Liz Fickenscher is committed to providing valuable information to Amazon Sellers through blog posts and informational webinars. Liz is the affiliate ambassador, engaging with customers and strategic partners to build relationships between eComEngine and the eCommerce industry.